Flick Reviews: ‘Man of Steel’ (2013)

Since we are only six days away from the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,  I thought it would be cool to warm myself up with Superman’s recent solo outing back in 2013 – Man of Steel.

In the film, Clark Kent, one of the last of an extinguished race is disguised as an unremarkable human, and is forced to reveal his identity when Earth is invaded by an army of survivors who threaten to bring the planet to the brink of destruction.

This comic book-to-movie adaptation is directed by Zack Snyder – one of Hollywood’s most stylish filmmakers today. The vision he has for it is bound in desires to make it a colossal Superman film, and that desire didn’t pay off so well. At least in my eyes it didn’t.

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Zack Snyder’s rendition of the classic Superman origin story is distinctively different from the ones that we’ve seen previously. The colors used in the film chose not to be vibrant and bright, and it was all reflected in a depressing and gloomy atmosphere – something a Superman movie shouldn’t have. The brightness got drowned out, but it never really seemed to wholesomely reflect its serious vibe. It is occasionally gritty and downright serious, but at times it still tried to have a little light shone onto it. If the whole grittiness would have been taken very seriously and eagerly then maybe it would have worked. But nonetheless this just seemed to be slightly confused with the tone it was trying to go for. There might have been some potential to it, but it was too cool to care since it had Snyder on board. Some elements somehow didn’t mix too well; be it the overuse of action and/or its struggle to be emotional in spite of the loud noise ringing in its ears. As a result, the drama looked like it was overpowered by its hunger for some marvelous spectacle – thinking it would all wake us up from the boring story it tried to feed us with.

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The film’s overall style is oddly beautiful and very modernist in terms of filmmaking, but it almost turned out to be the film’s main drive. Not the story nor the characters, but the will to deliver something that will blow our minds. Well, it wasn’t able to do all of those in success. Going through all the action-packed sequences were almost akin to the feelings suffering under the hands of a power-tripping director who loves to create exciting, filmic demolitions. Its style could have been put to good use and with subtlety, but it never even bothered to tone itself down. We all know that Snyder is that director who tends to play with his abilities too much, and it ended up being harmful for the film itself. One could complain that there is too much destruction going on, and I have nothing to do but agree. Snyder’s penchant for spectacle was just over-the-top excessive and even tiresome. All the skyscrapers falling and the grounds breaking was so exhausting to watch even if the film was just about to get to the middle part.

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There isn’t much to make us interested with the characters since this aspect was very middling. Some interesting points are there, but they never had the chance to explore it a little bit further. Instead, it gets on with the action that wasn’t even too exciting. Sure there were some cool moments here and there, but they weren’t able to make up for its bigger lapses. But amidst all its mistakes, it was still quite an entertaining blockbuster. However, it is nothing more than that. Its biggest saviors are owed to its actors who seemed to attempt to raise the film up from the shambles it is sitting on. While they gave favorable performances, we still could have hoped for a narrative that fulfilled the characters’ arcs. More so, you’d definitely clamor for a stronger-built plot because the one that you’ll get in the end is somewhat bland and needed a whole of refinement.

Alas, it was wasteful for Man of Steel could have been this generation’s first great Superman movie if only everything was handled in balance.

Rating:

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(It depends on your taste. I, personally was in the middle of despising it and liking it all at the same time.)

Prepare for the ultimate gladiator battle and the sequel to Man of Steel – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The red capes are definitely coming to Philippine cinemas on Saturday, March 26 from Warner Bros. Pictures Philippines. See it in IMAX 3D!

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